Assam Forest Department Boosts Efforts to Curb Rhino Poaching

Assam Forest Minister Instructs Officials To Protect Wildife

Assam forest minister Atuwa Munda on Saturday instructed officials of the department to take all actions to protect wild life including poaching incidents in the state.

The state forest minister said the department had taken measures to stop rhino poaching incidents and protect wild life. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, poachers killed another one horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park and fled with its horn. The rhino was killed near the Borghup forest camp under Burhapahar range office.

“I had already instructed all forest officials to take Stern action against poachers and illegal activities,” Atuwa Munda said.

This year so far, Assam lost six rhinos, including five alone in Kaziranga National Park. At least 36 rhinos were poached in Kaziranga last year.

Forest minister Atuwa Munda blamed the Union government for not supporting the anti poaching campaign.

“Forest guards found the bullet injured dehorned body of the male rhino inside the park on Tuesday morning,” a top Kaziranga National Park official said.

On Friday, police had seized an illegal timber laden truck and apprehended two persons in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district along with Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and later police handed the seizing timbers to forest department.

“I had instructed to DFO and SP of Tinsukia district to take stern action against the illegal activities,” the state forest minister said.

The minister on February 8 held a crucial meeting with security officials and forest officials in Kaziranga to stop the increasing rhino poaching incidents.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.